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Jace face Friday


Here's some Jace Face and Robby muscle for you to enjoy! We're off to Washington to see family and attend a cousin's wedding. I can't wait to travel with these two. We're going to have so much fun.  And Jace gets to wear a pant suit which I'm even more excited about. Lots of cuteness coming up! 

Block-printing fun


A couple weeks back, I hosted a block-printing party and invited all my girls over to partake in the stamping fun. It rained all day but that didn't stop us from setting up our craft station under my carport. I was on a mission to get some of my Christmas gifts done, so I came with blank kitchen towels and geometric patterns for inspiration {more on my Christmas gifts later!}. . .




Heather brought all of the supplies, including the Carving blocks, ink, pencils, sketching notebooks, rollers and paint plates. Each of us came with material or fabric we wanted to print on -- a note here, block-print on linen or something with a little bit of texture. As I mentioned, I brought towels to print on for holiday gifts. The girls brought a little bit of everything - blank totes, make-up bags, gift tags, blank cards and napkins. After doing some idea sketching and drawing out our designs, we started carving them into our blocks:





The rain came and went, and out came the rainbow -- just in time for us to start stamping! Actually, we were all kind of in our own worlds. Some spent most of the time carving, others moved right into stamping once their block design was ready. The best part about block-printing with friends {in my opinion} is the ability to use each other's block designs. Do a little wash, pick a new color, and you can mix & match block designs. Instead of using all my time on one design, I was able to use multiple designs for my towels {thanks, girls!}. I really wish I would have taken more "after" photos. Everyone's projects came out so great. For a really great how-to on block-printing, visit this page. It's pretty close to how we did it.  Or, you could spend a whole day browsing all of the block-printing designs on Pinterest. Lots of DIY inspiration there. I think I'm completely hooked. I'm already dreaming of my next project . . . onesies, totes, note cards, everything.



{Even Rob got in on the action}




{After the stamping I hung my towels up to dry. Then ironed them the next day to "lock" in the color. Can't wait to share my gift idea with you later!}

Fall in the Russian River Valley


On a brighter note, I had the most amazing Fall-infused weekend last weekend with my best friend, Heather. Last Saturday morning we started off early, but not before some ocean rolls, peppermint mochas and a quick drive to meet Rob to get my wallet {that I forgot}. Sort of need your ID to drink wine, right? {Oddly enough, I was never carded, now that I think of it. Funny how wrinkles can make you look older;)}. As soon as we got in the car we started blaring the Christmas music. No matter that it was November. It's already that time of year for us. I put together a slightly flexible itineary for us for our stroll through the Russian River Valley of pinto noirs, chardonnays and sparkling delights. And of course took lots of pictures:



Our first stop was Red Car Wine, voted one of the best Pinot Noirs in West Sonoma. And it didn't disappoint. The entire flight was incredible. Sonoma definitely has it figured out. Instead of only a flight of 4 tastings in Napa, you get like 8 in Sonoma. {That is said for all the wineries in Sonoma, in case you're taking notes!} Makes for a lot of wine to drink though. Our curator at Red Car was heart-felt and inviting. The best way to start off our day, really. Their tasting room was so unique. A cozy couch full of printed pillows, fur chairs, handmade jewelry, cool light fixtures - everything. This is one wine club I would consider joining, next to Medlock Ames. If you ever go, definitely try the Roussanne.




Second stop was Dutton Goldfield, right across the way. They had the Zin I've been waiting for. Zinfadels don't usually do it for me, but this one blew my socks off. Immediately bought a bottle. The tasting room was light and open, the charcuterie very tasty -- I could eat cheese all day and these cheeses were delectable. We met a new friend, too.




Then things got awesome. At Iron Horse Vineyards. By then, the crowd was getting "bubbly" you could say. Lots of people at this one, and what a gorgeous vineyard and patio tasting bar. Breathtaking view of the fall colors in the vineyard.  By far the best atmosphere of the three. We decided on the sparkly flight and were in bubbly heaven. My favorite was the Rose Brut - I basically threw my debit card at them for 2 bottles for us. Saving it for New Year's!



{Heather took these gorgeous shots!}



Even if you don't go up for the wine, you should go to Sonoma in the Fall just to see the colors. Smell the smells. Take in the surroundings. Although I loved the wines we tasted, my favorite part might have been driving to and from everywhere. The vines and fields and farms and trees . . . so beautiful. I also loved our hotel! We found boon hotel+spa on TravelZoo {also read about them in one of my Sunset Mags}.  It was so wonderful catching up with my friend. I could have spent another night up there, exploring Guerneville and talking about anything and everything. Living so close to all this great wine reminds me why I love California so much. Sonoma forever.

This sucks

So, I picked up Jace tonight from day care, and he started crying, his lower lip out, reaching back for Isabel, my day care friend. He didn't want anything to do with me. It took all of me to not cry in front of Isabel. Then, when I got home, Rob picked him up for a big hug, then I took him back in my arms and he started crying and reaching for Rob. Again, didn't want anything to do with me. So, I'm pretty much a mess tonight. Decided to not go to the gym. Feeling pretty not important to my son. Feeling like he spends more time at daycare than he does with me. This sucks. Then everything started weighing on me. The dogs, the washer and dryer we need, the airplane tickets we need to buy, the gifts I want to give, the laundry stacking up, the bills to pay, the dirty dishes, the family I'm missing, the months that have flown by. I spiral pretty fast these days. But, then Jace smiled at me, grabbed my face, let me rock him to sleep, and it was all good again. That is, until I have to drop him at daycare in the morning.



New book recommendation: Poison from the Pulpit by Randall Johannes

I don't know about you, but I think Fall is the best time to get lost in a new book. When you can cozy up in a blanket, stay up late, pour yourself some tea, dim the lights, and lose yourself in a good story.

If you're looking for a new book to read, I'm excited to share with you a personal recommendation! My talented father-in-law just released his new book on Amazon, titled 'Poison from the Pulpit'. And this Sunday, November 9, he is offering a FREE download of his e-book, all day {for FREE!!}!



Here is the synopsis:

In the 1960's South, a small town in Alabama has its hands full when a young preacher from the North is sent down to pastor an all White church. The preacher butts heads with the good 'ol boys’ mentality of segregation, and hate. His desire for equality causes outrage amongst the congregation. In his zeal to do what is right he makes a horrible mistake. Now, he must decide whether to pursue justice and put a stop to the evil that has gripped the town, or flee to protect his wife and daughter. 

I'm currently reading it, too, and really enjoying it. Suspenseful, compelling and full of heart. Let me know what you think, and always feel free to leave a review of the book on Amazon. For more about Randall Johannes, visit his website. He'd love to hear from you.

Happy reading!